The reason Wesley has taken to the ways of the samurai and seeks redemption are revealed. As well as some insight into his relationship with Turbo.


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The reason Wesley has taken to the ways of the samurai and seeks redemption are revealed. As well as some insight into his relationship with Turbo.


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Sherwin Shilati
Writer(s) Ira Madison III
Air Date 10/25/2019
Introduced This Episode
Emmett Frederick Williams
KJ Chelsea Zhang

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Recap

In The Beginning: Turbo, Wesley, Emmett

It isn’t clear when Wesley became firm in his understanding that he liked guys, but what we do know is that he and Turbo, they didn’t begin until a few weeks before the homecoming game the apocalypse began on. Also, what isn’t made clear is if Turbo was out like Wesley was out?

Emmett (Frederick Williams) talking to Wesley.
Emmett (Frederick Williams)

However, one thing that is made clear is that Wesley was originally from Compton, and with his dad becoming successful enough to move out of the city, he and his dad, when he was 15, moved to Glendale. Thus leaving his mom and cousin Emmett behind.

But, with leaving his cousin behind came some animosity and also a talent drain. Making it so, when the homecoming game hit, Emmett needed his cousin to take the fall and let him win. This conflicted with Turbo wanting him to break Emmett and between the two? Wesley chose love over family.

Question(s) Left Unanswered
  1. Is the way they portrayed Wesley’s mom problematic?
  2. Are we ever going to learn how Turbo ended up the sole person who was physically affected by the bomb?

The Middle: Turbo, Wesley, Josh, Eli, Angelica, KJ, Josh

Turbo and Wesley laying down together.

Jumping to the present, after some lovemaking, Turbo makes it clear he wants Josh dead, or he will kill Josh and everyone else at the mall. This leads to Wesley having complicated feelings for Turbo keeps pushing things to be his way or else worst-case scenario. Add in there aren’t really a lot of options in the post-apocalyptic world, and it complicated things for Wesley. Though what really makes things difficult is Eli spying on him and him trying to kill Josh so he doesn’t end up dead.

As for what Josh is doing during all this? Oh, dealing with Angelica trying to hook him up with KJ, one of the foreign exchange students. But, despite a mutual love for skateboarding, he is still very much caught up on Sam.

This Is Our End: Wesley, Turbo, Mona, Josh

While, at first, Wesley is willing to kill Josh, he realizes that if he keeps doing things for the love of Turbo, he will never achieve redemption. For at this point, besides his cousin, who was eaten by Principal Burr, by the way, a handful of boys were killed or hurt just for being friends or considered a threat. So, after Mona riles Turbo up, and he heads to the mall, a trap is laid that sets up the showdown we saw a few episodes ago. One which will have Turbo facing off against Wesley in the ultimate breakup fight.

Wesley prepping to battle Turbo.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

There are so many conditions on unconfitional love.
— Sam

Other Noteworthy Facts, Moments, and Random Thoughts

  • Anyone else hope Mona gets a dedicated episode next?

Review

Highlights

Wesley’s Background

While the way this show handles Black characters does make you raise an eyebrow, specifically how Wesley being gay has been handled, and how his mom was painted, you can’t take away the representation. Be it him being an unconventional gay man, acknowledging he is from Compton, yet adapted to Glendale, as well as the layers that are involved in what appears to be conflicting identities.

Talking About Unhealthy Gay Relationships

Being that showing gay relationships hasn’t really become a norm until a little more than a decade ago, there remains a lot of ground that hasn’t been covered. Especially outside of films, indie films specifically. Case in point, manipulative relationships like what Turbo and Wesley have you don’t see that often.

I mean, take note they are both masculine men, there is no physical abuse between them, just jealousy and pressure. The kind which does partly feel like, “What options do you have besides me?” being in play. For, when it comes to Turbo, while we don’t know his or Wesley’s type, let’s take note there aren’t a whole lot of jocks left that look like either one of them. So while you can’t support the jealousy, particularly due to it often ending in murder, there is a part of you that can understand the madness.

After all, it is like Mona said, what time is there to date or find people during wartime? Never mind, outside of the gay Josh, who else is out and available? But, setting that aside, the point is, showing a gay relationship where the issue goes beyond someone being down low, is noteworthy.

Wesley and Turbo kissing.

Privilege & Opportunity – The Wesley and Emmett Story

Continuing with how important Wesley’s story is, there is also the introduction of the difference between life in Compton and Glendale. For Emmett, he needed a win since opportunities in Compton might be slim, and so sports, like for so many kids who grow up in underserved areas, is one of the few means of gaining social mobility. Yet, there is also the need to recognize all that Glendale offers.

Take note, what was the first thing Principal Burr did when he took the Hoyles’ family money? He bought VR headsets. He didn’t invest in metal detectors, officers in school, or anything like that. For while he did encounter one set of kids having a worrisome conversation, the school wasn’t in the type of environment where it had to allocate resources to that kind of safety. That, in itself, helps you understand one of the many issues between urban and suburban schools.

Never mind how diversified the investment is. Speaking for myself, I hopped between urban and suburban schools and in a predominately white school in New Jersey, they dedicated a whole class to kids who were behind to catch us up. In a school that was predominately Black, they literally allowed the kids who didn’t want to learn to just sit in the back, and as long as they weren’t so loud that they disrupted the lesson of the handful who wanted to learn, they were left alone. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why recognizing privilege, even outside of white privilege, is important and necessary.

Angelica Pushing Josh and KJ Together

Angelica trying to push Josh to have fun.

With it being established Angelica may have a crush on Josh, what you have to appreciate is that her feelings for him are based around not a selfish need for him to survive but also to thrive in some way. It leads you to think, as ignorant as she is in certain situations, she truly loves Josh and has a place for him in her heart that many may not recognize fully or appreciate. Add in her push got Josh to make a friend, even learn Chinese a little bit, and it shows she could have a positive influence on him as much as he did for her.

 

[ninja_tables id=”41028″]

Wesley’s Background - 85%
Talking About Unhealthy Gay Relationships - 86%
Privilege & Opportunity – The Wesley and Emmett Story - 84%
Angelica Pushing Josh and KJ Together - 80%

84%

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